Navy divers reach Meghalaya to assist mine rescue

A team of the Indian Navy rescuers prepare to descent a 500-foot-deep illegal coal mine to rescue 5 miners trapped since May 30 evening, in Meghalaya's East Jaintia Hills district on June 13, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

An Indian Navy team on Sunday began assessing the coal mine in Meghalaya where five miners have been trapped since May 30.

Frequent rainfall and underground water seeping in from inter-connected mines had affected the search and rescue operations in the Sutnga area of East Jaintia Hills district for almost a fortnight.

The operation has been virtually a rerun of the December 2018 mine disaster at Ksan in the same district, in which at least 17 miners had perished.

“A team of more than 10 Navy divers arrived yesterday (June 12) with equipment. They have been assessing the situation for starting operations that have been affected by rainfall,” the district’s Superintendent of Police, Jagpal Singh Dhanoa said.

“Almost 100 personnel of the National Disaster Response Force, the State Disaster Response Force and the district police have been deployed there. Water is being pumped out simultaneously from two inter-connected mines about 300 metres apart aerially, but the water level in the shaft where the miners were working is still over 100 ft,” he said.

District officials said the family members of only two of the five miners trapped and feared dead have contacted them so far.

Mujamel Hoque, the brother of Abdul Karim, one of the five trapped miners, reached the site and met the district officials.

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Printable version | Aug 1, 2021 6:57:55 AM |

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